Best GPS and Radar for Fishing
To save you the shopping hassle, we have compiled a list of the best GPS devices and radars for fishing that all boast of great features and are easy to use.
The Garmin GPSMAP 78sc is a marine-grade GPS navigator that comes with a 2.6’’ color display and boasts of an IPX7 rating. It is neutrally buoyant so it doesn’t get lost if dropped in water, comes with built-in coastal charts, and a built-in e-compass. It also comes with a barometric altimeter, connects wirelessly with other devices, and allows you to add maps.
- Great for all marine activities, very waterproof.
- Comes with great built-in smart features.
- Excellent connectivity.
This combo from Lowrance comes with a GPS/Chartplotter and a radar and is ideal for small to mid-sized boats. It boasts of a very quick start-up, combines cartography with the received signal for the most accuracy, and a variable rotation speed ideal for both slow and fast boats. It also comes with automatic harbor/marina and offshore modes, and can track up to ten items at once.
- Innovative GPS/radar function.
- Quick start-
- Ideal for small to mid-sized boats.
The Raymarine Quantum boasts of a state-of-the-art target separation technology that intelligently selects and displays objects like landmarks, vessels, and obstacles in crisp quality. It delivers excellent images for close-range objects and sends CHIRP signals for superb clarity at long ranges. It also starts up in just a few seconds, draws low power, and is IPX6 rated.
- Superior image quality.
- Quick start-up.
- Low power consumption, waterproof.
The Garmin eTrex 30x is a handheld GPS navigator that comes with a high-resolution 2.2’’ display and a large 3.7GB storage that gives a variety of map data. It comes with excellent controls, a pre-loaded base map, and features a 3-axis tilt e-compass. It also comes with a barometric altimeter, boasts of wireless transfer of generated data to other compatible devices, and is waterproof.
- Very handy and easy to control.
- Large storage, innovative built-in compass.
- Excellent connectivity with other devices.
The Garmin 010-00959-00 GMR 18 is a high-tech radar dome that boasts of superb image quality at impressive ranges. It comes with a two-speed 24 or 48 rpm rotation setting and an impressive maximum detection range of 48 miles. It is very easy to install, is ideal for small to mid-sized boats, and includes a bird mode for tuna fishing.
- Superb image quality.
- Very versatile to different boat types.
- Impressive detection range.
GPS and Radar for Fishing Buying Guide
GPS and radar bring modern technology into your fishing, raising your chances for a good catch, and ensuring your safety while on the water. With a GPS you can easily know where you are and find your favorite fishing spot, while a radar will watch your path on the way there and back.
Our buying guide reviews the best GPS and radar for fishing on the market based on their specified features and tested performance to give you the best options to choose from. We then take it a step further to outline the particular factors you should consider and qualities you should look out for in a GPS and radar for fishing before you make a purchase.
The size of your fishing GPS is the first factor you want to consider. GPS devices for fishing come as very portable, pocket-size versatile models or large mounted models that give more functionality. Portable GPS devices are ideal for anglers with small boats and offer the advantage of superior portability and run on battery power. For larger boats, a mounted GPS unit is a great idea and will usually come with a much larger display and give more detail, but will be heavier.
Any GPS device for fishing you are getting must be fully waterproof as it will spend most of its life around water. It should come with a waterproof rating that will survive splashes and accidental immersion. Portable units should be both waterproof and neutrally buoyant so they float should you accidentally drop them in the water.
The ideal GPS for fishing should also come with extra features that are handy while on the water. These can include a barometer, thermometer, electronic compasses, altimeters, etc.
Power and Technology
The most important factors you want to consider when choosing a radar for fishing is the power and operating technology. The higher the power of your radar, the farther the reach, and the more sensitive it will be even in poor weather or visibility conditions. This will however mean more draw on your boat’s power and a bulkier unit.
Radars come with two major technologies – the pulse radar technology and the continuous wave radar. Pulse radar is the most basic but are losing their popularity to the continuous wave radar. These are very efficient, start up quickly, offer better image quality, and come with more range.
The size of your radar dome is another important factor to consider. This will mainly depend on the size of your boat, the available power, and whether you’re exploring freshwater or saltwater bodies. In general, the larger your boat, the larger and more powerful the radar you want to go for. Also, for saltwater applications, larger radars are required as they cover larger areas as you’ll find in the ocean.
Any radar you are going for must be completely waterproof and very durable to withstand years of use. This is where the quality comes in. You should always check out reviews on particular products to get an idea of the quality and expected durability. It should come with weatherproof materials that are as lightweight as possible, yet very tough.